Ellen Pompeo's husband Chris Ivery used to get jealous whenever she shared intimate on-screen moments with her leading men on Grey's Anatomy, the star revealed in a new podcast appearance. Pompeo, 51, and the music producer, 54, met in 2002 and married in November 2007, two years after Grey's Anatomy launched on ABC. The couple has three children, daughters Sella Luna, 11, and Sienna, 6, and son Eli, 4.
"Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into," Pompeo said when asked about her kissing and sex scenes on the Ladies First with Laura Brown podcast, reports Entertainment Tonight. "I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him. He was like, 'This is not what I signed up for. You go to work and make out with that. I like Patrick and everything, he's a good dude, but like really?'" Pompeo went on to praise Ivery as "really a trooper," adding that he is "my favorite person."
This isn't the first time Ivery or Pompeo have commented on how hard it is to watch Pompeo's steamy scenes. In February 2019, Ivery told Us Weekly he understands she is just acting. "There was a time back in the day that I watched it a lot, but then I didn't know if she had a lover," Ivery explained at the time. "I would say I'm not jealous; I'm really confident, but it's awkward. She's acting but now she's got this new lover, which I know him, Giacomo [Gianniotti]. However, he still said he skipped love scenes because those "can be awkward."
Elsewhere in the podcast interview, Pompeo reflected on the special chemistry she shared with her original co-stars. Fans got to see a little of that again in Season 17, when Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd made an appearance in Meredith Grey's coma dream as she battled the coronavirus. The scenes even gave fans a chance to see McDreamy and Meredith marry, even if it was only a fantasy.
"During the early days, we all really had something. We had a lot of fun back then," Pompeo told host Laura Brown. "I can see people now in a work environment and really see how they're performing. I know how sets run, and I know when someone is burnt out. I know when someone is afraid to speak up, and I know when someone is bored and not contributing. I know when a director's phoning it in. I can see people's behavior pretty clearly."
Pompeo will return to the role of Meredith for at least one more season. ABC picked up the medical drama for Season 18, which will start airing this fall. Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr., who have also been with the show since it debuted in 2005, will return as well.
Ivery and Pompeo met at a grocery store in 2003 and married in New York City four years later. The secret for their long marriage is "taking the time we need," Ivery told Us Weekly. "Like if it's me and her and we need a date night, we take it," he continued. "It's just sort of supporting each other. And obviously, with three kids it's ample. Her on set, me downtown, it's a lot. But she's my biggest fan. I'm her biggest fan."